The Defensive System of Castles or how Šiauliai Defended Lithuania

The consequences of internal fights for power of the future king Mindaugas were particularly painful to Šiauliai land. It is believed that having killed local rulers, the local governing elite, Mindaugas transformed Šiauliai land into a territory under his control, later controlled by other great knights who sat on the throne after him. No local nobility was left in Šiauliai land or they died out and due to this, the name of this territory completely disappeared from the pages of history for a hundred years. The coincidence of the names of Šiauliai land and Šiauliai settlement and later, Šiauliai rural district indicates that Šiauliai had to stand in the centre of the territory. We learn about the land of Šiauliai only from the chronicles written by Baltramiejus Hionekė and Hermanas Vartbergė. In these chronicles, Šiauliai land is named as the terra Sauleorum. The first of them, written in 1348, mentions that at that time there stood Kulų (Kulen), Businės or Busėnų (Businne), Ceilos (Zela), Dubysos (Dobbesyne) castles. This is the defensive ring of Šiauliai land. It begins with Jurgaičiai mound, located in the north east of Šiauliai (now called the Hill of Crosses), on which a castle called Kuliai or Kula (Kulen) stood. Next goes Normaičiai mound in Pakapė, south of Šiauliai and Lake Rėkyva, on which the so-called Bauska castle stood (historians also mention the place names Busikė, Busėnai and Buožėnai). The third castle was founded in Bubiai, on Bubiai mound, and was called Dubysa; and the fourth, in the present Šiauliai itself, at that time it was also called Šiauliai castle or Ceila, which stood on Salduvė mound, now called the hill (scientists call it Žuvininkai mound). It is believed that Salduvė mound appeared in the 11-14th centuries. On the neighbouring hill a rampart reinforced with stones was detected – it is a part of the defensive line, which protected Salduvė mound and Šiauliai castle from the northwest. True, these documents also mention that the inhabitants of Šiauliai land were known for their autonomy and independence in making decisions that were related to the whole region; such as until 1348, they did not participate in Samogitian fights with the German Order, preferring to pay taxes to it. This could also be due to the fact that this region became little noticeable and important to both the local rulers and the Knights of the Cross, forcing their way into the land.

Žuvininkų piliakalnis

Žuvininkų piliakalnis.

Jurgaičių piliakalnis

Jurgaičių piliakalnis.

Bubių piliakalnis

Bubių piliakalnis.

Normančių piliakalnis, Bauskės pilies vieta

Normančių piliakalnis, Bauskės pilies vieta.

Normančių piliakalnis

Normančių piliakalnis.

Jurgaičių piliakalnis

Jurgaičių piliakalnis.



Leave feedback

Your email will not be published